Please forgive the tardiness of this post, but I’m dealing with what I think is the flu. It really kicked my tail Monday night, and I’m only getting up and around Tuesday night. Unfortunately, I’m starting to go downhill again, so this post might not be finished until Wednesday or Thursday.
Monday was the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Relative to music, there are lots of speculations on what his favorite song was. However, I had always heard that it was “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” from the late, great Dr. Billy Taylor. I grew up with Taylor’s music from my dad’s jazz collection. His work was always among my favorite:
Alas, this is a blog about 80s music, and when it comes to MLK, there’s one song that sticks out: “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” by U2. Bono was inspired by a book called “Let The Trumpet Sound: A Life Of Martin Luther King Jr.,” and that track became the band’s big breakout chart hit in America, peaking at No. 33.
In my opinion, it’s U2’s best song despite the one lyrical mistake, referring to King’s assassination. It wasn’t “Early morning, April 4.” It was early evening.
Anyway, as I was researching the background of “Pride,” I learned that another 80s rock song is supposedly about Dr. King as well, and it’s another favorite of mine. I had no idea before today that Queen’s “One Vision” is about King.
A quick bit of chartology on the song: It was included on the album “A Kind Of Magic,” but many folks knew it as the opening number from the “Iron Eagle” soundtrack. The song didn’t get past No. 61 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it might be best known for Freddie’s attempt at vocal randomness at the end of the track when he sang, “Fried chicken.”
Some questions may never be answered, but all accounts I’ve seen suggest that Mercury was just having fun during the recording, and they kept it. Roger Taylor has confirmed the tie between the song and Dr. King on video, specifically a documentary called “Queen: Days Of Our Lives.”
Man, this video reminds me how awesome Freddie Mercury was.